Jethro Sumner papers 1780-1781
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This collection is made up of 10 letters that John Claude wrote to his brothers, Dennis Claude (8 items) and Abram Claude (2 items) of Annapolis, Maryland, while serving with the United States Army at Plattsburgh, New York, in 1814 and 1815. He often referred to the progress of the war and to his strong sense of patriotism, and mused on topics such as contemporary European politics. He shared his opinions of domestic and foreign political issues, including the potential effects of Napoleon's defeat on the major European powers, and frequently included philosophical quotes and poetry in his letters. He also offered commentary on recent and possible military actions in the War of 1812, expressed his belief that a successful British attack in Maryland would prove disastrous (September 26, 1814) and lamented the destruction of Washington, D.C. (November 17, 1814). Though he commented most often on politics and on the general state of the war, Claude occasionally mentioned his own military activities and drew a map of the fortifications at Plattsburgh (January 7, 1815). He revealed some details about his personal religious beliefs and shared his grief upon hearing news of the death of his brother Abram (October 19, 1814).